No Wake Band Is A Family Affair

Contributed by Michelle LaRose

Spellbound is the best way to describe the performance of father and son’s musical entertainment from Palmer, Alaska affectionately dubbed "No Wake Band". Patriarch father, Pat Wake, explains the name for the ensemble came about as sort of a play on the family name. A passion for boating and seeing “No Wake” signs around the docks and harbors planted the idea, but the first time the name stuck was the headline for a public performance in North Carolina with like-kind use of the catchy namesake. In North Carolina, signs splaying “Wake County”, “Wake Forest” and such were common.  

A flourish of original tunes written by Pat mostly in his young adult years speak of both happy and complex times in his life, as a good many of his musical selections focus on reflection and significance. With a versatile mix of folk, country and upbeat soft rock with a lively tempo, the No Wake Band delights a very wide range of audience demographics. Life growing up in the agricultural environment of Ohio influences the sentimentality in some of his lyrics to the delight of all age groups.  

Acoustic guitar found Pat at the age of 14, although he explains a universal love of music as far back as he can recall. His grandfather was the local church choir director and professional violinist. Pat continued on his own to pursue musical excellence, abashedly pointing out that he only ever had one formal guitar lesson and took it from there. Influences such as Peter Paul and Mary, Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Young and John Denver are reflected in his folksy embellishments in a fluid and artful style with the harmonica thrown into the mix.  

Pat pursued life's journey with a stint in the air force stationed in Germany where his musical style won him favor in military talent show events. He was dubiously placed in a talent team and played in variety shows at the Military Performing Arts Center in Kaiserslautern, Germany. He is eager to recant his experience playing for a British Officers Club where requests for repetitive performances for one of his original tunes "More Like An Angel" were made over and over again.  

Meanwhile, Pat started a family of his own, and of his five children, three of them are now active young adult musicians writing their own original tunes today. The dynamic duo of Pat and son, Sean, went on to perform music, regularly traveling South Central Alaska with occasional accompaniment by the other members of the family and friends here and there. Sean bounces around on the 12-string, baritone and electric guitars, and provides lead guitar riffs with precision and magical clarity.  

The No Wake Band performs their original tunes throughout the South Central Alaska area with a broad, universal appeal to all audiences with everything from Pat's spunky original tunes to familiar covers that range from Johnny Cash to Lynrd Skynrd rock with some Pink Floyd thrown in and much more. Stand-in performers are Michelle LaRose on the bass, Joe Lott in backup vocals, Kateri Houser on rhythm guitar with preferred guest percussionists thrown into the mix. The No Wake Band’s first studio CD, "Wind in My Sail", has been released in July of 2016. 

They perform regularly throughout South Central Alaska and can be found on Facebook, and the No Wake Band website: The CDs are available now in several local stores around downtown Palmer, the Palmer-Butte stores, the Palmer Museum and in Sutton. Downloads are also available online at iTunes, Amazon and more.